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Russia: Moscow court extends three anti-fascists' arrest by three months

On December 14, 2012, Moscow's Tagansky district court has extended arrest for three anti-fascists who were detained on suspicion of participation in a brawl at Moscow's Vozdukh club in December 2011. Alexei Olesinov, Alexei Sutuga and Alen Volikov will be kept in pre-trial detention until March 2013, Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported.  

Olesinov was kept in pre-trial detention since February, Sutiga since April, and Volikov was detained in November. They reported pressure from Federal Security Service (FSB) and Interior Ministry officers, and threats made by operatives against their relatives.

Judge Marina Orlova did not accept defence lawyers' arguments that Sutuga suffers from asthma, which cannot be treated at the pre-trial detention centre, and that he has an underage child dependent on him. The judge also refused to accept bail for Volikov, and that Olesinov's health declined while in custody.

To recap, on December 17, 2011, Vozdukh club's security guards, who held nationalist views, attacked gig-goers at an anti-fascist gig, and then accused anti-fascists of provoking an attack. A criminal case under Article 213, Part 2 of the Russian Criminal Code (hooliganism committed by a group of persons) was initiated.

Olesinov was detained in St Petersburg on the night of February 13 by operatives of the local branch of police anti-extremist E Centre. Sutuga was literally kidnapped by FSB and E Centre operatives in the evening of April 17 in Moscow. Volikov was detained in Moscow on November 6, as he was ostensibly on the federal wanted list.

In all the time that the anti-fascists were held in pre-trial detention, investigators were unable to provide any proof of their guilt. Investigative actions are reduced to psychological pressure and threats of physical attacks against relatives of the detainees.

Dec. 16, 2012

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